next generation of its local search engine provide a new "search by neighborhood" function that allows users to search for information by neighborhoods in major metropolitan areas, says Paul Levine, general manager of local services for Yahoo.

Yahoo Local now includes these neighborhood break-downs for more than 60 cities, which represent the majority of Yahoo Local's traffic, he says.

Searching by city neighborhood is method that no other local search engine currently provides, he adds. "We've really changed the game in local and redefined the way users find local content," Levine says.

The new neighborhood search includes a map of a city's neighborhood--for example, Pacific Heights in San Francisco--and includes three columns of information, one for local events, titled "What's Happening Locally;" one for local restaurant recommendations, entitled "Users' Favorite Restaurants;" and the last for favorite local services, called "More Local Favorites." Each title is color coded, and the entries under the titles are pinpointed on a map of the neighborhood according to the color code. The recommendations used in the listings have been rated by users in Yahoo's 181 million-plus user community, Levine says.

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